Truth and Compassion on Homosexuality?

A lot of people are skeptical about my talk titled, “Homosexuality: Truth and Compassion.” Many homosexuals scoff at the title. Many Christians are suspicious that compassion means compromise. But truth and compassion is about Christians balancing their convictions with a love towards homosexual men and women. It doesn’t mean compromise, although it might not be easy to practice either.

What does it look like? Let me give you one example (of the many I’ve heard across the country). I was privileged to meet a couple who lives this principle out in their lives. Their daughter is a lesbian. She’s 31 years old and lives in a recovery home for homosexuals who struggle with substance abuse. Although she disagrees with her parents’ stance on homosexuality, she knows they love her and care for her.

Routinely, their daughter comes to visit and stays the weekend at their home. She enjoys time with her family. And she doesn’t come alone. She often brings several homosexual men and women over from the recovery home to spend the night. Why? They all crave and enjoy the selfless love these parents give them. They come over and feel like part of the family. They even call the couple “mom” and “dad.”

During one Thanksgiving holiday, this couple not only invited their family over for the day, but also invited several of the homosexual men and women from the recovery home. Together they found common cause to give thanks for what they have. More importantly, this couple fostered a vital relationship between two communities of people who are too often at odds with each other.

Frankly, it was refreshing to hear how this couple is living a healthy balance between truth and compassion. They are uncompromising on their moral stance and relentless in their love for their daughter and this community.

This couple is also seeing the benefits of their efforts. Many of the homosexual men, recognizing the value of the love shown them, are opening up. One confessed, “I haven’t had any male influence in my life in years since my dad left when I was five.” Another man, when asked to come to church with the family, commented that he’d like to go, but thought he couldn’t because he was homosexual and HIV+. The couple told him it didn’t matter. Now he comes to church with them. In fact, many of the homosexual men and women often come to church with them.

These opportunities have been possible because this couple refused to react to homosexuality in stereotypical ways. Instead, they decided to treat these men and women with love and respect – the same way they treat any other people. They saw people who were hurting, welcomed them in, and showered them with love and attention. It is a priceless gift that is expressed by the commendable character of an effective Christian ambassador.

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Alan Shlemon

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